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Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Nov;71:215-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.07.012. Epub 2014 Aug 4.

Evidence for lymphatic Aβ clearance in Alzheimer's transgenic mice.

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Department of Neurology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard Galveston, TX 77555, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina, 173 Ashley Avenue, BSB 403, Charleston, SC 29425, United States.
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 635 Barnhill Dr., MSB A176, Indianapolis, IN 46202, United States.
Biomedical Research Institute of New Jersey, Mid Atlantic Neonatology Associates and Atlantic Health System, Morristown, NJ 07960, United States.
Faculty of Biology and Psychology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany.
Department of Neurology, Institute of Brain Science, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Aomori, Japan.


Evidence has shown that lymphatic drainage contributes to removal of debris from the brain but its role in the accumulation of amyloid β peptides (Aβ) has not been demonstrated. We examined the levels of various forms of Aβ in the brain, plasma and lymph nodes in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) at different ages. Herein, we report on the novel finding that Aβ is present in the cervical and axillary lymph nodes of AD transgenic mice and that Aβ levels in lymph nodes increase over time, mirroring the increase of Aβ levels observed in the brain. Aβ levels in lymph nodes were significantly higher than in plasma. At age 15.5months, there was a significant increase of monomeric soluble Aβ40 (p=0.003) and Aβ42 (p=0.05) in the lymph nodes over the baseline values measured at 6months of age. In contrast, plasma levels of Aβ40 showed no significant changes (p=0.68) and plasma levels Aβ42 significantly dropped (p=0.02) at the same age. Aβ concentration was low to undetectable in splenic lymphoid tissue and several other control tissues including heart, lung, liver, kidneys and intestine of the same animals, strongly suggesting that Aβ peptides in lymph nodes are derived from the brain.


Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid beta protein; Lymph node; Protein clearance

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